2009 – present (8 years)
A wise women once told me that if she could live her life again she would spend it making charcoal drawings of the countless yew trees that have been growing for an eternity in Little Langdale. A small valley hidden away on the road to nowhere in the Lake District. This thought flashed through my mind as I lay face down in the mud of a nameless field in Northern France. The year was 1918 and the Great War was coming to a bitter conclusion, no one had won. As the aftershocks felt by the 100 years of European history would attest. I had fought before and was no stranger to the slaughter. The depths of degradation that human kind could plunge itself into no longer came as a surprise, we are a bitter and twisted people, broken in oh so many ways. I pulled myself together and stood up “C’mon Men!” I shouted and four figures emerged from the ubiquitous sludge, their profiles lit by the cacophony of mortar explosions behind them. We started towards the enemy’s bunker, the bunker was spitting fire from the machine gun placements, spitting fire like a novice dragon not yet taught to roar. We were roaring though, we were dragons; single-minded killing machines and we flew on the wind of impending victory. I raised my pistol as I caught sight of a German infantryman attempting to fix a jammed rifle, but as I pulled on the trigger all the came out was a small flag, with the word “Bang!” written upon it. Just then I felt myself caught up in what can only be described as a whirlwind, my feet left the ground and I was taken higher and higher. I was surrounded on all sides by a multitude of rainbow bright colours. The theatre of war stretched out before me I could see beyond the front lines, beyond the visible stench of death to the villages far behind the trenches, the villages where a dissemblance of normality still existed, save for the constant stream of foreign troops pouring through the guesthouses, cafes, tabacs and brothels. Some local girls had found love with these soldiers in the midst of this, the most insane form of human madness. My thoughts were over come with this glimmer of hope as I flew up into the air until the war torn land below me was no-more than a brown spot on an otherwise luscious green and deep blue planet. Thoughts of doomed love were encompassing my very being. Young peasant girls left pregnant as their new sweethearts left for the frontline, leaving nothing but some chocolate, empty promises of a better life and an unborn child. But for an exquisitely brief moment both lovers were in bliss of calm, surrounded on all sides by the sights, sounds and smells of war. They were the only two people on earth, no-one had felt like that before (of course countless lovers had, will and do feel like that everyday and will for all time) but in their eyes no-one had felt like that, no-one could feel like that, this was a singularly unique moment. I snapped back to reality… I was quite literally floating in space, that old philosophy dictum sprang to mind, how do you spot a philosopher? While other people are getting on with their lives, going to shops, going to work, picking the kids up from school etc, the philosopher would be the person standing in the midst of all this normality shouting “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WE ARE FLOATING IN SPACE!!!” The whirlwind which had picked me up from the field had now become a warm protective cocoon shielding me from the icy vastness of space. The Earth grew smaller and smaller until it was mealy another ball of reflected light encircling the Sun. Never had I imagined that a human eye would be able to witness such beauty, little did I know that my eye was no longer human and the inter-stellar symphony being played out in front of face was being conducted by a Witch! The whirlwind which was taking me deeper and deeper into space was made up of millions and millions of Nanobots, who were changing my entire physiology, replacing my flesh and bone with circuitry, pistons and a new mineral based exoskeleton. I was told later that this process took almost 200 Earth years, but time meant nothing as my consciousness had been suspended a mere 10 minutes into my galactic flight as soon as the Nanobots had entered my brain. By the time I arrived at my destination I was a very different creature, only certain memories remained which were all my experiences of doomed love. This had given me a rather surly temperament almost like a teenager who’d just been kicked to the curb by a more experienced girlfriend. I was moody, plagued by poisoned recollections of saying the wrong words or doing too little too late. My consciousness was not sufficiently developed to recognise that in actual fact I was stood on a ‘Caraltutumbog’ a small meteor about 20 light years from Earth. Caraltutumbog was now home to The Witch, after she had been banished by the Incas some 1000 years before the first shot fired in anger of the Great War. Strangely enough not a shot fired in Europe, but artillery round fired across the bow of a German Freight Liner leaving Melbourne harbour in Victoria, Australia. The Witch was once the proud figurehead of a violently matriarchal sect of the Inca people, as ruler, The Witch was seen as a living god. This was all fine and dandy until they found out about space flight. Then the shit really hit the fan. These were a people who for all intents and purposes lived in middle age squalor, open sewers swamped the streets of their mountain home. The only way to cook food was on open fires and there had not been sufficient advances in agricultural sciences to provide a sustainable farming system. These were still Hunter Gatherers, reliant on chance as much as proven techniques for feeding and clothing their families. This is why their knowledge of advanced space travel technologies seemed such an incongruity. The Witch of course had always had this knowledge it was innate within her being. But she couldn’t tell them that could she? This was not the only time she had been worshiped as a god. The Witch had existed since the dawn of time, she was part of the fabric of the universe, she existed simultaneously in countless dimensions, all knowledge learned and yet to be learned was hers. This is why she had seen nothing wrong with imparting the basics of alien spaceflight technology to this crude tribe of Incas she had found herself knocking around with. Like the death of Houdini, this arrogance backfired, when in the dead of night the Incas decided they had had enough of this bossy Witch and built a rocket to shoot her off into space where she won’t be able to complain that her “FUCKING TOAST IS BURNT!!”. This posed some problems for the Incas, The Witch was taller and heavier than an average woman, she was at least 20 foot high from the tips of her toe to the top of her pointed hat, her arms were unusually long as well, at least the same length as her height, she used them as a Gorilla would, to walk on. Her hands were made of semi-precious stones, but this was as a result of a self-inflicted cosmetic operation, what ever The Witch wasn’t, she certainly was vein. But the Incas put all these potential problems to the back of their minds and got to work, they constructed the rocket around where The Witch lay asleep, and at sunrise they pressed the big round and green button which said “GO”. The Witch shot off into space and ended up here on this meteor, unable to do anything but sulk. The Witch saw that she had two choices, either use the collected debris of the rocket to fire herself back to a planet with some dissemblance of society (not even The Witch was able to teleport) or use the debris to construct millions of Nanobots to send back to Earth find a suitable candidate to turn into a humanoid killing machine, bring them back to her and exact a plan of revenge on all humanity. The Witch was a proper spiteful bitch, so she plumped for the second option. So here we are The Witch And The Robot, sitting on a deserted rock, planning revenge. Stop. Revenge is not a good thing, no-one wins and revenge is all about winning, it is completely pointless, it is without point. But the yearning for revenge can damage people, even people as ever-living as The Witch. She may have been a Witch but don’t be in any doubt, she was certainly a person too. Stop. Or it may have happened like this. Listen
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